June 24, 2013

A grieving mother no longer in the dark

By Sophie McKenzie
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Close My Eyes, a new psychological thriller by Sophie McKenzie, poses the question of what happens when a woman loses a child at birth, and eight years later feels no letup in her sense of loss and bereavement. After all this time, a stranger arrives at Geniver Loxley’s door to say that her child was not stillborn, but in fact is very much alive. The stranger claims her sister, a nurse, attended the birth and saw the child alive and well. Still worse, she says that Gen’s husband knew about the deception, too. She’s short on details, but leaves her phone number so Gen can reach her once she absorbs the news.

When Gen’s husband, Art, hears this, he’s irate. He vehemently denies the stranger’s claim and speculates that it’s a horrible scam perpetrated as payback by a disgruntled business rival. He’s adamant against following up, but for Gen, the genie is out of the bottle. Inconsolable loss has turned into a kind of frantic hope, and with or without Art’s help, she decides to pursue the truth. Was her baby stillborn? If not, who was involved in what amounted to a horrific kidnapping? What could be the reason for such an unforgiveable act?

A mother will stop at nothing to discover the truth of her baby's death.

Gen remembers nothing of the birth, as she was deep under anesthesia, and must do her detective work from scratch. She searches through oddly incriminating bank records and newly discovered paperwork, talking with anyone who had a possible connection to the event. As grim and suggestive facts begin to emerge and a suspicious death impedes her efforts, she begins to suspect everyone—even Art. But luckily for Gen, and for the progress of the book, an amiable Irishman named Lorcan enters the action, and the balance of sanity begins to shift.

The book employs all the staples of this genre: a woman on an often lonely quest, fighting the odds as well as questions about her own sanity, and putting herself in danger to uncover the truth about something deeply personal. Is she just a gullible victim, or is there a conspiracy of silence among those nearest to her to shield her from some awful knowledge?

Author McKenzie pulls out all the stops in this tense shocker, including a surprising conclusion and a couple of final pages you won’t want to read in advance! Readers who like twists and page-turning surprises are in for a treat.

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Close My Eyes

Close My Eyes

By Sophie McKenzie
St. Martin's
ISBN 9781250033895

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